For expecting parents, parents with young children or those who are entrusted with caring for ailing family members, there are federal laws in place under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that ensure employers do not punish parents and caretakers for taking time away from work to go to medical appointments, pursue treatments, spend time with a newborn or newly adopted child, and numerous other reasons.
At The Garber Law Firm, P.C., we are a Georgia law practice helping individuals and families throughout the region understand the protections offered by the FMLA and other state and federal laws. Furthermore, we help our clients assert their rights under these laws, hold non-compliant employers and others accountable, and fight to ensure our clients protect their rights and interests in the workplace.
What protections does the FMLA offer parents and caretakers?
In short, the FMLA covers eligible employees who need to take unpaid, protected leave for family and medical reasons. According to the United States Department of Labor, qualifying employees are entitled to twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period:
- For the birth of a child or the care of a newborn
- For preparation, placement and care of an adopted child
- For the care of a child, spouse or parent who is dealing with serious health issues
- For serious health problems that make it difficult or impossible for the qualifying employee to do his or her job
- If the employee’s direct family member (son, daughter, spouse or parent) is an active duty military member and requires care or due to other qualifying circumstances
It’s also important to note that the FMLA protects employees from retaliation that may come from employers. This means that employers are not permitted to punish employees who take time away from work for legitimate reasons as outlined above. An employer can’t fire an employee for qualified absences, deny promotions or give away an employee’s job while he or she is away on sanctioned leave.
When taking family and medical leave, make sure you understand your rights
At The Garber Law Firm, P.C., we understand that you already have a lot on your plate if you are expecting a child or are helping a loved one cope with a serious illness. We want to alleviate some of the pressure by making sure your employer treats you fairly. If you are the victim of discrimination or other unlawful treatment at the hands of your employer, reach out to us and let our lawyers get to work protecting you and your family.